The Info List - Alvin Theatre

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The Neil Simon
Neil Simon
Theatre, formerly the Alvin Theatre, is a Broadway venue built in 1927 and located at 250 West 52nd Street in the Theater District of Midtown Manhattan, New York City. As of 2011, the record for its longest running show is held by the musical Hairspray, which opened August 15, 2002, and ran for 2,642 performances before closing on January 4, 2009.


1 History 2 Notable productions 3 See also 4 References 5 External links

History[edit] Designed by architect Herbert J. Krapp, the developer, real estate mogul Alexander Pincus originally named it the "Alvin Theatre" as an amalgam of the names of producers ALex Aarons and VINton Freedley. It opened on November 22, 1927, with George and Ira Gershwin's Funny Face starring Fred and Adele Astaire.[1] In 1930, Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
made her Broadway debut in Girl Crazy; in 1934, she appeared again in Cole Porter's Anything Goes
Anything Goes
and again in 1936 in Porter's Red, Hot and Blue.[2] In 1935, the Gershwins' American folk opera Porgy and Bess had its world premiere at the venue.[3] Due to the Great Depression, Aarons and Freedley lost control of their venue in 1932. For a period, CBS
used it as a radio studio. In 1960, Lucille Ball
Lucille Ball
appeared in her only Broadway show, the musical Wildcat.[4] In 1965, Liza Minnelli made her Broadway debut in Flora the Red Menace.[5] The original Broadway production of Annie opened in 1977 and ran for nearly six years, setting a record for the Alvin. In 1977, the Nederlander Organization
Nederlander Organization
purchased the structure and renamed it in honor of American playwright Neil Simon
Neil Simon
on June 29, 1983, the opening of his play Brighton Beach Memoirs.[3][6] In 1985, its sequel Biloxi Blues also played at the theatre. The New York City
New York City
Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the building a New York City
New York City
landmark in 1985. Historical records show that the original seating capacity was 1,362;[1] in 2002, it expanded from 1,328 to a potential 1,467 after the May 27, 2002, closing of Elaine Stritch at Liberty. (To use the orchestra pit, 26 seats must be removed.)[3] Robin Williams
Robin Williams
was to perform five shows of his comedy tour, Weapons Of Self-Destruction at this theatre in early April 2009, but he was forced to cancel the engagement due to his health.[7] In lieu of Williams, the revival of Ragtime, opened November 15, 2009, after a successful run at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. It closed January 10, 2010, due to low ticket sales after only 28 previews and 57 regular performances.[8][9] The new musical Catch Me if You Can began previews on March 11, 2011, and opened on April 10, 2011.[10] On September 4, 2011, Catch Me If You Can closed after 32 previews and 170 regular performances. A revival of Jesus Christ Superstar
Jesus Christ Superstar
opened on March 22, 2012, at the theater and ran through July 1, 2012.[11] In July 2015, the Nederlander Organization
Nederlander Organization
sold the structure's air rights to a consortium planning a highrise tower on Seventh Avenue between 41st and 42nd Streets. The sale will have no impact on the facility.[12] Notable productions[edit]

1927: Funny Face 1930: Girl Crazy 1932: Mourning Becomes Electra 1933: Mary of Scotland 1934: Anything Goes 1935: Porgy and Bess 1936: Red, Hot and Blue 1937: I'd Rather Be Right 1938: The Boys from Syracuse 1940: There Shall Be No Night 1941: Lady in the Dark 1943: Something for the Boys 1946: Joan of Lorraine 1947: Life with Father 1948: Mister Roberts 1951: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn 1952: Two's Company 1954: House of Flowers 1955: No Time for Sergeants 1958: Bells Are Ringing 1959: Once Upon a Mattress 1960: West Side Story; Wildcat 1961: Irma la Douce 1962: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum 1965: Flora the Red Menace 1966: Dinner At Eight (Revival) 1967: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead; Sherry! 1968: The Great White Hope 1970: Company 1975: Shenandoah 1977: Annie 1981: Merrily We Roll Along 1982: Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up? 1983: Brighton Beach Memoirs 1985: Biloxi Blues 1990: Jackie Mason: Brand New 1992: Jake's Women 1993: Cyrano: The Musical 1996: The King and I
The King and I
(Revival) 1999: The Scarlet Pimpernel 2001: The Music Man 2002: Elaine Stritch at Liberty 2002: Hairspray[3] (2,642 performances) 2009: Ragtime (Revival - 57 performances)[9] 2010 Harry Connick Jr 2010: RAIN – A Tribute to the Beatles 2011: Catch Me If You Can 2012: Jesus Christ Superstar
Jesus Christ Superstar
(Revival) 2012: Scandalous 2013: Big Fish (34 previews and 98 performances)[13] 2014: All the Way 2014: The Last Ship (29 previews and 105 performances)[14] 2015: Gigi (20 previews, 86 performances)[15] 2015: The Illusionists (62 performances) 2016: Cats (Revival) 2018: Angels in America
Angels in America
(Revival) 2018: The Cher

See also[edit]

Broadway theatre List of New York City
New York City
Designated Landmarks in Manhattan
from 14th to 59th Streets National Register of Historic Places listings in New York County, New York


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Neil Simon
Neil Simon

^ a b c Morrison, William (1999). Broadway Theatres: History and Architecture (trade paperback). Dover Books on Architecture. Mineola, New York: Dover Publications. pp. 154–55. ISBN 978-0486402444.  ^ Ethel Merman
Ethel Merman
at the Internet Broadway Database ^ a b c d Jones, Kenneth (May 21, 2002). "A New 'Do: Capacity of Neil Simon Theatre Will Increase for Hairspray". Playbill. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved February 11, 2009.  ^ Wildcat at the Internet Broadway Database ^ Flora, the Red Menace at the Internet Broadway Database ^ Calta, Louis (November 26, 1975). "Nederlander Family Adds Alvin to Its Holings". The New York Times. Retrieved July 29, 2015. (Subscription required (help)).  ^ Gans, Andrew (July 8, 2009). "HBO to Air Robin Williams' Weapons of Self-Destruction". Playbill. Retrieved July 29, 2015.  ^ Marks, Peter (January 3, 2010). "'Ragtime's' closing: A sign of Broadway's thirst for crowd-pleasers". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 29, 2015.  ^ a b Kuchwara, Michael (December 28, 2009). "Revival of 'Ragtime' set to close Sunday on Broadway". USA Today. Associated Press. Retrieved July 29, 2015.  ^ Hetrick, Adam (March 11, 2011). "Live in Living Color": Catch Me If You Can Lands on Broadway March 11". Playbill. Archived from the original on October 20, 2012. Retrieved July 29, 2015.  ^ "It's Official! JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR to Open on Broadway March 2012!". Broadway Worldwide. October 4, 2011. Retrieved July 29, 2015.  ^ Viagas, Robert (July 29, 2015). "Nederlanders Sell Air Rights Above Neil Simon
Neil Simon
Theatre". Playbill. Retrieved July 29, 2015.  ^ Rooney, David (November 10, 2013). "Broadway's 'Big Fish' to Close Three Months After Opening". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 29, 2015.  ^ Kreps, Daniel (January 6, 2015). "Sting's 'The Last Ship' to Close on Broadway". Rolling Stone. Retrieved July 29, 2015.  ^ Viagas, Robert; Gioia, Michael (June 9, 2015). "Au Revoir Broadway: Gigi, Starring Vanessa Hudgens, Posts Closing Notice". Playbill. Retrieved July 29, 2015. 

External links[edit]

Official site Neil Simon
Neil Simon
Theatre at the Internet Broadway Database New York Theatre Guide: Neil Simon
Neil Simon

Coordinates: 40°45′46.5″N 73°59′3″W / 40.762917°N 73.98417°W / 40.762917; -73.98417

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